Clinical Research Glossary

retrospective study retrospective study


Research that uses already existing data.

Example of retrospective study in a sentence

Retrospective studies use data that were collected in the past.

More Info

A retrospective study looks at the historical data of participants.

For example, a study of people with cancer might use existing medical records to learn more about possible causes and exposures.

A retrospective study may also use stored specimens or tissue samples that were collected in the past.

Other info to think about when joining a study

You may see the term “retrospective study” if you are asked to give informed consent for the study team will look through your past medical records.

You may want to ask them about what information they will be obtaining about you and why, and how your privacy will be protected.

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